Chipping Away, Until That Glass Ceiling Is Gone

I was recently asked why we hold a special event for women in our conferences. On the eve of publishing our third list honoring women in staffing, I thought it would be good time to outline a couple of reasons why we honor their achievements.

Changing the narrative. Traditionally, this group has not been given the recognition they deserve. Let’s take a look at Staffing Industry Analysts’ very own lists.

The 2017 Staffing 100 list included 22 women, which is actually less than the 25 women who were among the 2016 class. (To be fair, the drop in 2017 is due, in part, to 10 of the women from the 2016 list being among the inaugural Staffing Industry Hall of Fame list in 2017.)

Meanwhile, women accounted for just 15 of the recently announced The 2017 Europe Staffing 100, a bit of an improvement over the 13 women honored the year prior.

The statistics tell their own story. We hope by acknowledging this group for their achievements, we can start a new narrative. Our hope is to help women share their stories, so others can be inspired to create their own.

While the lists are part of that effort, I also had the pleasure of speaking with three-time Woman in Staffing honoree Linda Galipeau, CEO of Randstad North America, who talked about her journey to running a $6 billion unit. Her message to other women: Rethink your relationship with failure. ‘I think women need to have a far more constructive relationship with failure, a more constructive view of it,’ she said.

Maybe others need to be reminded as well.

The bottom line. The fact is diverse workplaces perform better. McKinsey reports that financial returns for companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to better than their respective national industry medians. It doesn’t stop with gender diversity: Companies in the top quartile in terms of racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to see such results.

What the research is telling us is that more diverse companies engage and retain high-performing candidates, which leads to increasing returns, worker satisfaction, triggering innovation and contributing to a better ecosystem.

Promote women to leadership roles. The media is obsessed with the talent shortage. And yes, if we can fill the gaps, it’s going to be great for our business. The truth is we have a large number of women in the industry, but not at the C-suite. One way to defeat the talent war is to engage, retain and promote these women who have years’ experience moving our industry forward. SIA’s Best Staffing Firms to Work For program shows if employees are happy and productive, the resulting culture boosts the bottom line. This has been revealed consistently. We just need to do our bit so women can fulfill their potential.

So, there you have it, some of the strongest reasons we continue to highlight women in staffing. The editorial team and I are proud to present the list for the third time and we call on buyers and suppliers in the ecosystem to take the time to recommend those providers you think should be on the list next year. The list is not a ranking just a way to celebrate and publicize the contributions made by women in the ecosystem.

Many on the International 50 portion of the Women in Staffing list will be at the Executive Forum London in October. I look forward to meeting them and celebrating their success at a reception held in their honor — as well as for those on the Europe Staffing 100 list. I hope you see you there as well.







Subadhra Sriram

Subadhra Sriram
Subadhra Sriram is Staffing Industry Analysts' editor and publisher, media products. She can be reached at SSriram (at) staffingindustry (dot) com.

Subadhra Sriram

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